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not choose to surrender his birthright, and endorse what others, in their superabundant wisdom, may choose to dictate.

There is no class of men in the world more to be pitied, or more obnoxious to all the courtesies and decencies of life, than illiberal critics. Their only aim is to discover or manufacture faults for others, and upon their success in such laudable business, depend their reputation and their

As the end and aim of their being is to growl, were perfection itself permitted to visit the earth, they would bark all the louder, and howl the more ludicrous, in dread of the doom of starvation. No sin in an Author is so provoking, as that of being above the reach of their shallow judgment—no crime so unpardonable as dignified contempt. Critics are an unconditional nuisance. False lights to the near-sighted. Dampers to the timorous. Ghosts to the over-sensitive and scrupulous genius. Impotent and despised by the high-minded, and they are positive torments to themselves. Heaven reform them, and pardon their sins!







Peculiar circumstances induce me to avail myself of a privilege by dedicating the following work to you. It is an inadequate, though I trust not an unacceptable token of my esteem, and if I have compressed a variety of matter into a small compass, and have dealt in commodities not exclusively wanted by emigrants to Texas, I presume such commodities will be wanted elsewhere; and if I have not given unqualified praise to every one, and particularly the war party in Texas, I have censured with regret. I feel that I have been influenced throughout by a proper motive, and I have endeavored to vindicate the character of the peace party in Texas, and relieve them from un merited obloquy with which they have been loaded. Malignity of feeling, or envy of any one, are incentives which can never prompt me to action, perfectly convinced as I am, that various circumstances surrounding different nations and individuals, with the various supposed interests of each, will always give birth to a different train of thoughts and conduct, and while some do pervert their judgment for the sake of gain, others, and perhaps very many, follow the dictates of conscience and the convic

tions of mind, when to unreflecting observers, their motives are wholly misunderstood. It has been customary with Authors to write out a volume and then half another in dedications, prefaces, erratas, explanations and notes, the last of which, few, if any, readers peruse, and those who do, are generally more perplexed than enlightened. I am not a fashionable man and I put my

such useless practices, and I intend that the following work shall embody in a direct line, evidence of its own value; tell its own story in its own way, fight its own battles, live as long as it can, and die the death of a Hero, when language is out of use. Cherishing a desire that you may enjoy, in tranquility, the reward of a well spent life, I tender my unaffected friendship and esteem, for you both.

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Texas is bounded on the East by the State of Louisiana, North by Red river, West by the Rio Grande, and South by the Gulf of Mexico; supposed to contain an area of about 300,000 square miles, upwards of 140,000 inhabitants, exclusive of Indians, and embraces all the climates common between the 26 and 42 degrees of North latitude.

In this vast extent of country there is, of course, every variety of soil; and in order to acquaint the reader with the most prominent features, the country may appropriately be divided into three parts, each of which will be found adapted to the growth of different and distinct commodities.

The first division embraces a distance of about 400 miles in length, commencing with the eastern boundary on the Sabine river, and extending West to the Rio Grande,

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